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Course web for the Spring 2019 Computer Graphics Class

Graphics Beyond CS559

Many people ask things like: “I liked this class, what else can I do?”

Here are some ideas:

Other classes on related topics: Prof. Sifakis will be teaching a Physically-based animation class as a special topics class in the Fall (CS838) – undergrads may be allowed to enroll. I will be teaching Data Visualization (CS765) which is more about what pictures to make, than how to make them (again, some undergrads can take the class). The Computational Photography class (CS534) covers parts of “graphics” that we no longer cover in CS559. There will be a user experience design class (taught by Prof. Mutlu) in the Fall. Prof. Kevin Ponto teaches a Virtual Reality class, however, it is in Design Studies and doesn’t have lots of spaces for CS students. Sadly, we lack the staffing to offer CS679 (Games) or CS777 (Animation) in the near future. Ironically, if you plan to study graphics in graduate school (or get a job in the games, animation or effects industry) you may be best off taking classes on related topics (math, physics, computer architecture, HCI, algorithms, AI) now to have a better background for later.

You can help make the class better: I appreciate feedback on what you liked (and disliked) about the class, and your ideas as to what should and should not change. You hopefully did some of this on the course eval.

You can help with future offerings of the class: We will be hiring peer mentors next year. Contact me if you are interested. CS559 will be taught in both the Fall and Spring.

You can get involved in projects: The faculty working on visual computing related topics (me, Prof. Sifakis, Prof. Gupta, …) do work with undergrads on projects. Unfortunately, we often have more people interested than we can mentor.

You can do your own project: CS559 hopefully gave you a good foundation to build on. You can use this knowledge as the basis to learn about new tools. Doing a project “on your own” is a great kind of experience: it shows that you have a passion for the material. It says something that you care enough and have enough initiative to follow through on a project, rather than just do the things that a Professor tells you to do. One of the first things I always ask people is “what are the coolest projects you’ve done outside of class.” Fortunately, many of the best tools are available for free – either because they are open source (e.g. Blender animation system), made free to students (e.g. Autodesk software like Maya), and game Engines/Development environments (e.g. Unity and Unreal). Go make something cool!

You can do graphics beyond UW: You can study graphics in graduate school – either in regular CS programs, or specialized “professional programs” that aim to prepare people for graphics industry jobs. My advice on grad school page is a little old (last updated in 2016), and broken (the table of contents isn’t working), but still might be helpful. Getting a first job in graphics is notoriously challenging (companies usually want experience).